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How to Sell Your iPhone for the Most Money

by on September 06, 2019
in Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tips & How-Tos, Money Savers :: 0 comments

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If you paid for your iPhone in full up-front or paid it off from your carrier in installments, it's now yours to sell. Selling your smartphone online is simple, often just requiring you to pick your product, answer a few questions about its condition, and ship it off with a pre-paid label to get your cash. The only difficult part is figuring out where to sell it and what it's worth. To help you out, we've rounded up the major retailers and checked the price of a 64GB iPhone X. When estimating costs, we said the phone was on AT&T, in good condition, and was able to powered up without problem. But before we dive into what each retailer offered, here are some general rules of thumb on what buyers will—and won't—pay for:

  • After a new model phone is released, the previous generation's model will fall drastically. If you're looking forward to the next big smartphone announcement, it's best to lock in a trade-in price for your current smartphone beforehand.
  • Phones on different networks may be worth different amounts. Unlocked phones or phones on Verizon or tend to be worth the most.
  • Your phone's current condition has a big impact on its value. Phones in like-new condition earn a premium. Cracked, or otherwise damaged phones, won't be worth as much. Phones that don't work at all may not be worth anything. Though some companies will be interested in buying them for parts, most trade-in programs will say no. Anyone who accepts broken phones will be noted below.
  • The older your phone is, the less it will be worth. Gear that's more than a couple of years old may not be worth anything at all, but you may be able to recycle it for free.
  • Different color items may sell for different values, so be sure to select the right color.
  • Personalization counts against you—a phone with personalized engraving will be worth less.
  • Many trade-in programs want the power cable and sometimes other original accessories. If you don't have these, the phone will be worth less.

Now that you know what to expect, let's look at the trade-in programs available and what they'll pay.

In-store trade-in programs: Immediate credit

In-store programs are the easiest way to quickly get cash for your device. All you have to do is take your phone to the local store and hand it over. You'll get a gift card for the phone's value immediately—or if you don’t agree with their assessment, you can take your phone back and walk away.

The trade-off for convenience is price. These programs typically don't pay top dollar, and all of them pay you via a gift card, meaning you have to spend your money where you traded it in.

In-Store Trade-in Services

  How it works What they'll pay for a 64GB iPhone X When they'll pay
Apple Store Take your smartphone to an Apple Store and talk to a representative to evaluate your trade-in. $400 towards a new purchase Immediately, towards the purchase of a new device
Best Buy Take your smartphone—along with all accessories, manuals, and packaging—to your local Best Buy and talk to a representative. Trade-in isn't available at all locations and some locations may only allow you to trade in items purchased at Best Buy, with an original receipt. $350 as a Best Buy gift card Immediately
AT&T Take your smartphone to an AT&T Store and talk to a representative to evaluate your trade-in. $310 as AT&T promotion credit Immediately, towards the purchase of a new device
Sprint Take your smartphone to a Sprint Store and talk to a representative to evaluate your trade-in. Up to $300 Sprint account or store credit Immediately
T-Mobile Take your smartphone to a T-Mobile Store and talk to a representative to evaluate your trade-in. $285 as credit toward a new device Immediately
Verizon Take your smartphone to a Verizon Store and talk to a representative to evaluate your trade-in. $325 as an account credit or Verizon Wireless Gift Card Within one to two billing cycles
Prices as of 9/6/2019. 

Which site should you choose? Since all of these retailers pay in gift cards, the choice you make is really based on where you want to spend your money.

Better deals for those who can wait

If you don't need cash right now, a wide variety of online sales sites often give you better pay and, sometimes, options beyond gift cards. However, if the trade-in site disagrees with your assessment of the quality of your device, they may not pay as much as you expect—and you could be stuck with the lower rate or paying extra to get your phone back. Another thing you'll want to be aware of when you sell online is how long the price you're offered is good for: some require you to send in your phone immediately while others lock in your offer for weeks, giving you time to pick up a new smartphone before sending in the old one.

Online Trade-in Services

Currently, SellCell is offering the best trade-in deal at $462 for a 64GB iPhone X through a buyer called Bing Bong Tec. SellCell doesn't complete the transaction, the site just lists the best values, so you'll want to research the terms of the transaction before comitting. Your next best option is Decluttr, which is offering $437 and pays within a day of receving your item. 

  How it works What they'll pay for a 64GB iPhone X (AT&T model except for carrier trade-in) When they'll pay When do you send in your item: If they don't think your device is worth the quoted value
Amazon Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. $315.05 as an Amazon gift card Within 12 business days of receiving your gadget Usually within 7 days When you submit your trade-in, you can choose what you want to do if it’s worth less than you thought — either have it returned, free of charge, or sell it for the evaluated price.
Apple Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, and Apple will ship you a prepaid shipping kit or let you print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. $400 as an Apple gift card 3-5 days after receiving your item Within 14 days Accept the evaluated price or have the device returned to you free of charge.
Best Buy Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then print a prepaid UPS shipping label to send your item in. $350 as a Best Buy gift card 7-9 days after receiving your item Item must be received within 14 days You'll be paid the evaluated price or you can choose to have it returned at your cost.
Decluttr Select your carrier and the condition of your phone, accept the price  $437 by direct deposit, PayPal or check. You can also donate the money to charity. One day after receiving your item Within 28 days of creating your order Accept the evaluated price or have the device returned to you.
Gazelle Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then Gazelle will ship you a prepaid mailing box to send your item in. $286 by check, PayPal or as an Amazon gift card 3-5 business days after receiving your item plus 24-48 hours for Amazon and PayPal or 5-10  business days for a check

Within 30 days

Currently extended to 10/18/19

Accept the evaluated price or have the device returned to you.
SellCell Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then SellCell will show you the best offers on its network of professional buyers. Buyers are show with ratings by the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot and Ebay. Once you accept an offer, you will be sent to the buyer's site to complete the transaction. $462 by PayPal unless otherwise noted by the buyer Depends on the buyer Depends on the buyer, but usually after your receive your shipping label or kit Depends on the buyer. Be sure to check the policy.

 

USell

Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then Usell will show you the best offers on its network of professional buyers. Once you accept an offer, Usell will send you a prepaid shipping kit or let you print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. $365 by PayPay or Check Within 5 business days of receiving your device After you receive your shipping kit Accept the evaluated price or have the device returned to you free of charge.
Walmart Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition $290 by Walmart eGift card Within 2 to 4 weeks of receipt of the product  Immediately - you print out a prepaid shipping label You can choose to accept the revised price or have the item sent back free of charge.
AT&T Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. Up to $310 as AT&T promotion credit As soon as they confirm the value of your item Within 30 days You'll be paid the evaluated price
Sprint Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. Up to $300 Sprint account credit 4 weeks from when Sprint receives your devices Within 30 days of the date the transaction was created You'll be paid the evaluated price
T-Mobile For current or new customers with a qualifying transaction: new activations, add-a-lines, or upgrades with a device purchase. Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. $285 as credit toward a new device As soon as they confirm the value of your item Immediately You'll be credited the evaluated price or have your device returned
Verizon Select what you're trading in, answer a few questions about its condition, then Verizon will send you a prepaid shipping kit or let you print a prepaid shipping label to send your item in. $325 as an account credit or Verizon Wireless Gift Card Within 1-2 billing cycles Withing 15 days of receiving the shipping envelope You'll be paid the evaluated price.
Prices as of 9/6/2019. 

Before you sell

Before you ship your iPhone off, back up your documents, photos and videos to your computer or an cloud storage service. Applications can be backed up with iCloud. Then, disable "Find My iPhone Activation Lock"  and reset your phone to factory settings. You can find step-by-step directions in my story 8 Things You Need to Delete Before Selling Your iPhone. Remove cases, screen protectors and your SIM card.

Whatever you choose, good luck navigating the trade-in marketplace!

[woman handing over iPhone via BigStockPhoto.com]



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